School is Hard, Moped Nation

September 2, 2005

So medical school is hard. I spend, on average, three hours on every 12 page Neuro lecture before I’m semi-happy with what I’ve retained. I would love to pretend that the reason it’s taking me so long is because the course is presented in a way that lacks narrative but its more likely that I’m dense. Neuro rules my life and I am lucky that Physio is still in first gear.

Speaking of gears, living off campus without a vehicle is no fun. The time it takes to travel back and forth for cooked meals, changes in books, and other sundry errands comes to 2-3 hours a day. Then consider that those errands happen an hour or two apart from each other and you have a day that is broken up into pieces that prevent any study-momentum. I need something.

My budget won’t allow me a controlling interest in a car among my roomates, so that leaves bicycle, motorcycle, and moped on the table. Last Friday I responded to an add and made a complete ass of myself. A vet student looking to unload a moped she has never ridden had to show me the clutch, kickstart, brakes and instructional panel on the gas tank tying all of these objects together. I decided to wheel it out and take it for a test drive. How hard could that be? I used the front brake the entire time not realizing there was one at my foot, because the front brake and the throttle are on the same handlebar I did an excellent job of lurching, and I almost killed a cow.

Dad, I know you are so proud of me.

Naturally I fell in love with the thing. There’s something about the speed that only a moped can deliver. She was asking $1400 and I was offering $830; it would be a while.

hangboard

climbing flapperIn the meantime, MY HANGBOARD IS UP! I paid someone squatting in the abandoned hotel next to us $28 to build a frame for it and am happy to report that the skin is tearing off every one of my fingers in righteous flappers. My roomates really don’t know how to handle my excitement. Needless to say I have made all of them use it during our Navy Seals workout.

There is once again a beach by our house and I am swimming every day. It got a little hard doing laps from the buoy and back with my head above water, so I went and bought some Swedish goggles (the ones without any rubber that make you look like you have glass insect eyes). They pinch pretty bad and it hurts to blink. I toughed it out the first day for about a half hour and then suffered for the next two while everyone laughed at “the racoon”. Har har. What’s worse, now that I can see clear to the bottom I don’t want to swim at my beach anymore: it’s too dirty and I can see little bits of things going past my mouth.

So this brings us to the phone call I recieved from the vet student on Thursday asking me to haggle a bit for the moped. I will also mention that I had two of my friends make offers on the bike and then reatract them saying “it just wasn’t worth it”. I asked her to meet me halfway between our offers to each other, then I refused again. I had my arms crossed and everything.

Dad, I know you are so proud of me.

She eventually settled at $1000 throwing in two new helmets, a lock and a waterproof bag for it all. Let the countdown begin to my first crippling accident! At least now I can ride to a cleaner beach.

Avoiding potholes and maniacs, topher.

Addendum:
1) A hangboard is a climber’s pullup bar that hurts in creative ways
2) A flapper occurs when a callous along with the underlying skin is torn away, revealing red, glistening dermis.
3) I was called “the racoon” because I had twin bruise circles around my eyes

P.S.

So it’s actually Friday afternoon and I bought the bike! The helmet does not fit my head. I rolled it down this girl’s driveway and (flashing back to my youth) taught myself how to work the thing in a parking lot. Every single scenario I could imagine I played out against imaginary pedestrians and reggae busses. It took about an hour before I could lean correctly, downshift quickly, and start from neutral on a hill. I probably wasn’t completely ready, but I went into traffic anyway. HI MOM!

learnerI have been somewhat responsible; I put two white “L”s on the side of the helmet to let every other motorist know that I have no idea what I am doing.

addendum:
4) In Grenada, all student driver cars are called “learners” and have a big white “L” on them.


First Week Back in GND

August 18, 2005

The first few days here in a new apartment and I’m reliving all the idiocy from my first apartment in Saint Louis. I have a dozen cans of vegetables and beans and no can opener. We live next to an abandoned hotel that was destroyed by Ivan. Everyone living inside is squatting, including the Head of Distribution for Carib Breweries. He was nice enough to sell Winston (roomate) his car for a song. This car has neon blue lights inside and I think I’m in a Pontiac commercial. The windows aren’t so much tinted as they are painted black, so checking our mirrors is impossible.

We have a bit of an ant problem. We went out and bought ant traps, the ones where they carry the poison back to their queen and everyone dies. I got bored the other day, set one out, and pulled up a chair to watch the drama unfold. You could sell this as its own TV show. I was so excited watching the first scout come get a taste to be followed by all of his ant brothers swarming it minutes later. After ten minutes of this, I ran around the house putting the other five traps out, cycling between each one so that I wouldn’t miss a moment. It was a full afternoon.

My main classes this term are Neuro and Physio, each 5 credits. They are hard. It helped matters none that the first week and weekend here were spent running the Footsteps/Orientation program. So two weeks in and I am a week behind in material that makes me wonder if I have the chops to be a medical student. Yes, I am wallowing.

Some may remember a while back I wrote about never bartending again. Well, over the summer I bought a fancy computer so for the rest of the term my belt will be a little tight. When the opportunity came to save a cover fee by agreeing to man the bar at Grand Anse for two hours, I took it. I figured this would be fun the way that Sandblast was not since it would be without the responsibilities. Imagine my surprise when they tell me that I am slated to be bar captain. Oh horror.

Well, everything happened again. My hands got soggy from all of the water and started getting cut by broken bottles posing as ice. People screaming, asking for drinks, bottle-openers missing, everyone running out of beer, liquor, soda. By the end everyone was gone, the place was cleaned, and the people running the party were actually grateful! They put a case of beer and a few pieces of Carib merchandise into our car. I wish it always ended that way.

I apologize for bouncing all over the place, but my roomates watch way too many movies. Each of them brought a DVD binder, and all told we have over 200 titles in the house. Not one day passes where fewer than two movies play in this house. It is distracting. Worse yet, they have the first seasons of Scrubs, Grey’s Anatomy, and Band of Brothers. I am on the losing end of this war with entertainment.

No kidding, I’m worried about this term. I already feel overextended [sic]. I have my classes in the morning, then I’m tutoring anatomy and biochemistry once a week. The afternoons are broken up with Clinical Skills or Professional Development or Neuro lab or Physio lab. I also joined an Anatomy research program that just started at the school. The guy running it was recently poached from American University of the Caribbean and has been the captain of the winning team at the Anatomical something or other competition the last three years running. He’s faculty at Harvard and wants nothing more than to develop a similar program at SGU. So that fell into our laps. Not done yet. My roomates have decided that we, as a house, are doing the Navy Seals workout over the next 6 months, complete with before and after pictures. I’m two days in and dying. I know Anna (Wash U Grad student) has more on her plate than that and handling it with aplomb, but it’s a lot for me.

I have completely stopped going out in order to stay on top of all this. I also have three classes (Genetics, Immuno, Parasitology) that are being taught consecutively through the term. The Genetics final is Monday. Can you believe that, a two week crash course for 1 credit?

I’m sure (I hope) that I will find my rythm soon and can begin enjoying life again. When that happens, these emails will get a little more sun and so will I.

Treading, topher.


Prague Part Dva

July 21, 2005

Czesky Krumlov

My last free weekend in Europe was a week ago and I had yet to travel anywhere. So the night before, I found a like-minded student, Adam, and we took off for the Brewery tour of the Czech Republic. We caught a bus to Pilzen, home of the only true Pilsner beer, Prazdroj. We arrived in this town, unable to speak Czech or find someone who mluveetee anglitsky (speaks english), so we decided to take random buses in random directions. We ended up taking a bus past an enourmous complex with PILSNER URQUELL written over and over on the wall followed on the end with a sign that said GAMBRINUS. Now, Gambrinus is a competing beer made in the Czech Republic. That, along with this bus stop being called “gambrinus”, made us feel justified in riding further. We were such idiots.

After the Pilzen tour we caught a train for Ceske Budejovice, home of BUDVAR! We had about an hour until our bus into Cesky Krumlov was scheduled to leave, so we wandered a bit. I have to say that one of my favorite things about Europe is their town squares. Anytime a town devotes two square blocks to an open cobblestoned square with nothing in it but a central fountain, I am a fan.

A half hour later and we are in Cesky Krumlov, touted as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The place belongs in a snow globe complete with waterfall and wheel, aqeduct, palace, ornately decorated spire, and a lazy river that wraps around to define the borders of the city. Of course, I took no pictures.

The next morning we went back to Cesky Budejovice to take the brewery tour. Too bad it was Sunday. We made the best of it by sitting in the Budvar restaurant and drinking 5L of delicious Budvar each. I also managed to spend 1000 Krowns on a Budvar tie, tie clip, bottle openers, and a Budvar towel. I do like Budvar. I also have 6 Budvar coasters that tell the story of some demon that sneeks into the Brewery, tampers with the beer, and is then stoned with corn-on-the-cob.

And the winner of these priceless coasters and Budvar bottle opener? Uncle Neurophysiologist, for his advice on traveling in Europe:

“Look at your luggage and divide by 2; then look at your wallet and multiply by 2.”

Girl in Hat Store

Returning to Prague, I have gone Euro. “Going Euro” is wearing the tight jeans, the tight shirts, the green sneakers, the button down shirt open with belly proudly leading on a hot day, the guy with no shirt in the middle of the classy bar, the girl and the guy making out so hard you think one is trying to eat the other (this drawing no stares). Going Euro happens in pockets instead of on a gradient. You don’t have people that are half punk, half model, or half naked; everything is all out. It wasn’t till the end of the trip that I realized how much I was ignoring, but Prague is a twilight zone of crazy.

In Prague, I have finally hit “survive” on the scale of Czech fluency. I can come and go, order and pay, ask and understand directions, and tell a Czech women that she is beautiful. But more than all of this, the ability to say “buzz off” in Czech without accent has been the most useful when dodging vendors and prostitutes on the tourist-choked streets.

Traveler’s note: if a woman walks up to you asking for “sexy?” and you refuse, she will try to run after you and hug you. She IS NOT trying to change your mind; she is trying to pick your pocket. Channel Ron Burgandy, and you’ll know what to do.

Landing back in the US was disorienting. First, everyone is speaking English while I’m still on Czech autopilot with my Dyekui’s (thanks) and my Dobry Den’s (hello). The faces in the airport are softer, without all the dramatic angles that hallmark the euros.

So that was it. My own advice for those traveling to Europe:

“Learn their language.”

Cheers And Nastravi! (Nicedriveway)

Tables

 


In Prague

July 13, 2005

Hanging Statue of Lenin

Where to begin. Having a bit of writer’s block. I’m sitting off the balcony of my new room in a Hostel downtown. This is so much better than living in Kobylisy 8 with 7 other people in a room with four beds touching. I’ve been in Prague for seven days now. There are so many different types of faces and haircuts. The mullet is king, with every third person from the UK sporting one. The Scottish are terrifying. Every one of them looks like an extra from Braveheart that kept the costume. So scary. Nobody wears matching clothing, colour or decade.

Everything is different. Their toilet paper is thinner and has that recycled-paper look. I am still terrified of bedais (sp?). Men with capris are king; runner up is the tapered pant leg. The escalators are very steep and seems like the most popular place to stare at people. I haven’t figured out if this is a staring society or if I’m getting the tourist treatment. Either way, I’m staring back.

Hilarious Phallic Statue

It seems that only 3/4 of Prague is Czech, the rest ex-pat and vacationing. Opening up your head to all of the different languages ruins your ability to eavesdrop on your own, I’ve learned. I’ve learned about 50 czech words that I can’t pronounce. Nerozemum = I don’t know = most useful word. “krk”= throat. “Cheers!” sounds like “nice drive way” slurred. Beer is “pivo”.

There are no ranch homes in Prague. You can buy a shirt that says “Czech me out!” but not one that says “Czech, please?” which disappoints me. Everywhere I walk has art. If not paintings on walls then reliefs over doorways or statues on state buildings. There is a statue of Lenin hanging from one arm four stories off the ground and out my window. There is a statue of Superman proudly face-planting into the ground.

Thai massage

My legs are oak dipped in steel. I’m averaging 8 miles a day on foot. There is something to look at or do every single step. There are so many restaurants that you marvel at how they can all stay in business. There just can’t be that many hungry people. I have been living like a king, eating out every meal, sitting in beautiful restaurants that could fetch $100 plate prices back home but cost only $7. The dollar trades with the krown at 1/25. I feel like I am stealing from these people. There are so many places to eat that you are forced to have the appetizer, course and desert at three different locations with drinks at a fourth, fifth, ad infinitum.

I’m in Prague to study. A course through SGU places me on rounds with doctors from different fields, one per week. I lucked out with heart, brain and bone. Some poor saps got lungs, guts and kids. I have two more days of heart, where I get to watch a doctor push and pull a tube through someone’s chest via a hole in their leg. We watch all of this on live x-ray monitors and ponder the weight of our full body lead vests. For the vest alone, I do not want to be a cardiologist.

Things to do:
1) walk across all seven bridges in Prague (maybe two people laugh at this)
2) buy uncle a gift for telling me about Budvar, the best thing since life itself
3) Get out of Prague for a while

Taking a nap and walking somewhere, topher.

Street beggar in prague


I have a biochem exam in 30 minutes

June 3, 2005

Yeah, I know, I should be cramming.

Last night my roomate Kevin and I quizzed each other over the ingredients in Diet Coke, Red Bull and Mountain Dew. Happy to report that we knew how to make all of them except the dyes.

For those who remember all the way back to my running diary of midterm exams, rest assured that people are even more out of their minds this time around, and it is funnier in proportion.

One of my roomates for next year is dating Yoko Ono. Everyone is very nervous.

wish me luck, topher.


I have an Anatomy final in one hour

May 30, 2005

So it starts in an hour when I walk into the lab and have to look at bodies that my class members have dissected and identify tagged structures. This wouldn’t be too bad if we were better anatomists. But we aren’t. If that creep from CSI were to “deduce” our methods, it would go something like this:

“You can tell here that they used a ten blade. Notice the lilt of the incision. And the separation of soft tissues speakes to me. It whispers, ‘grenade’.”

Then it’s off to the lecture hall at 1:00 to look at SLIDES of dissections and Identify those without the benefit of a 3D plane. I’m not kidding when I say that it helps to get your bearings in the neck by making sure you can see the feet.

What’s it like identifying structures in the neck? Imagine a Jenga tower with every block having a special name and function, only they aren’t written on the blocks. Now imagine someone bumping the table and those blocks falling everywhere without ryhme, reason. Now imagine that those blocks are instead rubber bands and tied around each other. Good luck with that.

Afterwards is the written exam which is scheduled to end around 3:30. If I’m lucky, I won’t know half of the material for which I’m responsible and will get to finish early, take a nap, and start studying for Histology.

Cheers, topher.

P.S. Paradoxically, I spent the first half of the term feverently studying Embryology only to score lower than I would’ve liked on the midterm. Since then, I’ve been pulling a George Castanza: doing the exact opposite and getting better results. Cheers to you fetus; you really don’t care if I understand you.


I have an Embryo exam in one hour

May 27, 2005

So I’m off to face the fetus. I have ignored the little guy for 2 months, but spent some quality time with him these last two days. Let’s see if it pays off.

It’s official: last night, bored of Emrbyo, I took out a piece of paper and wrote the names of all 208 bones in the human body, for fun. Possibly the greatest moment in my life.

cheers, topher.


Just before Finals

May 23, 2005

I should be studying histology, but I’m in danger of forgetting everything if I don’t start writing. So here are some things that you’ve missed:

1) I wrote a “Student’s Guide to SGU” which will be available online from the SGU website in a few weeks (after exams). It’s modest aim is to answer every conceivable question that any prospective or matriculating student could have and to weave that information into a cohesive narrative as we follow our hero through a day at SGU. It falls short of that aim.

2) I lost reelection to Student Government. Apparently, never going to class and burying yourself in the library cuts down on “face time” which is important when people are randomly picking names and yours fails to ring that bell. Kissing babies is also important.

3) I now spell color colour and flavor flavour. Nothing you can do about it. My British professors also say “skel eeee tull”. See if you can figure what THAT is in english.

4) The responses from my last email where halarious. Thanks to everyone that took the time. To those that couldn’t tell if I was serious about everything that I wrote, my answer is yes? Special thanks to my sister Honora who offered to FedEx me some Adderol. Halarious.

5) We have a front runner in the “Find a movie that scores a perfect 6 on Topher’s Scale inspired by Starship Troopers” contest. Her name is Jen Suydnam, and she has found a tentative 5/6. Such fabulous prizes await. For those looking to still submit, the criteria are as follows:

1) War
2) Nudity
3) Insects
4) Absence of Nicolas Cage
5) Ninjas
6) and Candy

6) I lost a disgusting bet to my roomate. He contends that they discovered that Diabetes was a sugar disorder by drinking the urine of diabetics and noting its sweet taste. Wow was he right. After the Biochem final, all his drinks are on me for the first hour. I haven’t decided whether or not I’m going to be pee in one of them.

Red Bull gives you wings! Topher.


Is it really so bleak?

May 16, 2005

hello everyone.

So school has hit this amazing new level. So before all of this started, I was told that I would be given more information (that I am responsible for) than I could possibly learn with any understanding. So for those keeping score at home, I have decided to know nothing about cobalamin or the cutaneous innervation of the leg. I have completely abandoned Embryology. Sorry, little fetus.

My body is ruled by caffeine and my mind doesn’t care if my body is awake or not. For example: I looked at slides of something today.

Members of my class have PICKED UP smoking. A small black market for adderol and ritalin has emerged. I just spaced out for a couple minutes there. Just now.

I have notes written all over my hands. Some of them are smeared against my cheek. Now wait, Zygomatic bone. See, you see?! I have to squeeze that sort of crap in every chance I get for retention’s sake.

That caffeine from before? interferes with phosphodiesterase which would normally help degrade cAMP and halt the action of PKA, which may or may not be stimulated by the epinephrine and glucagon in my system. Now if I had sugar in my coffee, that would change everything, because that would trigger insulin release which is the evil twin of glucagon, and they would fight over the soul that governs whether or not my body is making or breaking things. What are those things? Ask me when you see me and I’ll lecture on them.

At least once a day now, I sit there and realize that I could quit at any time. All the stress, all the work and knowing and not knowing would all just float away. I could be free. Freedom tastes like strawberries, I have decided.

Ok, so things are not nearly as bleak as all of that nonsense above would suggest, but it is a real part of everyone’s experience of medical school and pressure in general. It is also the first time I’ve been in the vice-grip of pressure for more than a few minutes and has taken a lot of used-to-getting. Everyone wish me luck, it’s all over in three weeks and I get to come home.

topher.


Prague, Sandbalst, and I will never bartend again.

April 17, 2005

In my Anatomy class, I just learned about Fascia Lata. It’s this great drink that the local Starbuck’s sells. I don’t think I’d make it through dissection without it. Also, you have a muscle in your thigh called “sartorius”. You know you are in the center of nerdville when people are singing Sartorius B.I.G. Oh, oh, oh, sar-TOR-eee-us! We start learning about Head and Neck this week. I think I’ll browse the classifieds and, you know, get a head start on my class.

In biochemistry I’m learning that sugar is pretty important. You can do a lot of things with it like store that sugar, eat that sugar, make sugar from scratch, and fail biochem.

The stangest thing about medical school so far is how many ways we are taught to kill someone. And not just that, but EXACTLY how it kills you and what part of what thing a poison tweeks in what way. Arsenic, Cyanide, Malonate, Rotenone, Oligomycin, Fluoroacetate. Quiz me I dare you. Yes I know I didn’t punctuate that.

The nerve and artery that supply your perineum (your nethers) are called “pudendals”. Pudendum means “ashamed” in Latin. Am I the only person that finds this hilarious?

Tickets have been bought and here’s my schedule:

GND to STL on June 8th
STL to Prague July 5th (arriving the 6th)
Prague to STL July 30th (arriving the 31st)
STL to GND on August 2nd

Prague you say? I’m taking a selective that places me in Prague for a little under a month. While there I get to shadow physicians, learn how to take histories and physicals, experience nationalized/socialized medicine in a country that was COMMUNIST a few years ago, and buy a nice wife.

Love Parade Berlin 2001The selective actually doesn’t start until the 11th. This means that I have 4 days to travel Prague, but I’m not staying in Prague. On Saturday, July 9th, Berlin throws the LOVE PARADE, an all day techno/rave in the streets of Berlin that attracted 1.3 million people in 2003. The plan is to pass out on the train back to Prague on Sunday morning in time to make it to our mandatory check in at 3:00pm. Place your bets now.

Each weekend during the selective we’re hitting up a different city. Yes Amsterdam. Maybe Vienna, but probably not Vienna. If any of my more traveled readers has suggestions, go for it: suggest. Try to keep it Soviet Bloc.

So remember all that work I was doing for SANDBLAST? Well it’s 9am here and I have to start setting up. I’ll finish this later…

hungoverIf I was a better writter, I might be able to capture how bad I feel. Right now, you’ll just have to settle for “profound ouch-throb”. When I stopped writing at 9am, I went upstairs to corral the 1300 jello shots we made. There were toasts; how many I don’t remember. I had a vegetarian breakfast burrito at 10am, then the work came. I wrote previously about a massive sundial mosaic on the beach that took five people four hours to half-clear. Maintainance or some such was supposed to finish the job this week so that it could be used as a stage. To no one’s surprise, that failed to happen. So in the middle of carrying ice and setting up beerpong tables and moving crates and crates of alcohol, I was pulled to finish the job. I enlisted six other people, got shovels and makeshift wheelbarrows (happy Rochelle?), and went to work like somebody was paying me (no one was paying me). We cleared it in less than an hour.

After that was the bartender meeting. This is the stage in the day where everyone is excited to bartend and thinks it’ll be great. When I look back on my life and contemplate bad moves… We took a break at noon to enjoy the Slip-n-Slide. Actually, it’s dishonest to use a brand name. We took a break to enjoy the 130′ sheet of tarp with soap all over it. Megha ran, jumped UP and fell DOWN. Gravity came as a shock to her elbows, knees and face. High comedy is having a running start longer than your actual slide. Kudos to you Megha, kudos.

Dizzy FloresBehind the bar we started naming our arms. Dr. Al Dehyde, The Octogon (watch Anchorman for that joke), Ferrari, La Tigra. I went with Magnum and Blue Steel. Oh what fun we had before people came. Our pitboss left at 1pm. We will call this zero hour. By 2pm, there were more than 300 people with the thirst. Have you ever seen Starship Troopers? The scene where the Mormon outpost on Klindathu gets attacked by thousands upon thousands of Arachnids, overpowering the infantry forcing a retreat that heart-brakingly claimes the life of Diz? It wasn’t THAT bad, but barely.

***As an aside, I have a working theory that Starship Troopers is one of the greatest movies of all time. The six criteria are

1. insects
2. war
3. nudity
4. Absence of Nicolas Cage
5. candy
6. and ninjas

Starship Troopers scores a solid 4. ConAir scores a 0. I have yet to find a perfect 6. No Jason, I will not consider anime because that isn’t real nudity.***

With the absence of a pitboss we were running out of ice, beer, liquor, cups, we were running out of “bar”. The reserves were, in a brilliant move, kept under lock and key 100 feet from us. Who had the key? Pitboss. Too much brilliance in one place! So I became the pitboss, shuttling (like so much malate and aspartate) supplies back and forth, cleaning up hundreds of empty bottles and yelling at people to clear a path CLEAR A PATH! And it really didn’t matter to the mob that I was not serving drinks. “Topher! TOPHER! Tropher! Tober! I need two Pitons and a Heineken!” Kill yourself. “Hey man, I VOTED for you!” And we will all note the use of the past tense.

I got to leave the bar at 4pm to jugde the hot body contest. Jealous? People just weren’t drunk enough to get in line to be judged, so we poured liquid courage down a few throats and things were on their way (God bless Nature’s social lubricant). Now in the Men’s Division we had your token bodybuilders that thought this was a serious contest and forgot that the three judges were all guys. As required by Natural Law, muscle and rhythm were inversely proportional and Hanz, Franz were laughed off stage. Then came Phil. Phil had the good sense to be incredibly obese and have fun with it, winning in a landslide. Oh how the women swooned. I must find a picture of Phil.

The Women’s Division was another beast all together. A few thought they were pole strippers, a few thought this was a dancing contest, and a few thought they just had to get on stage and “be hot”. As each contestant came up and panicked at the size of the crowd (we’re at 500 easy) they would look around until they found Jeremiah or me and proceed to reduce us to said pole. Jealous? Girls also heckled other girls. This comes as zero suprise to my female readers but gets me everytime. With great comuppance, we pulled the hecklers from the crowd and made them for all to see and boo. Yes, we were taking too seriously our titles of “JUDGE”. Nobody remembers who won, though in true Spring Break Fashion there were a hundred or so cameras at the ready.

And back to the bar (which was hell and had been nicknamed “Ivan” at this point) where we’re out of everything except warm Sprite, water, and the truly pissed-off. I’m desperately trying to find more beer in the bottom of the ice tubs and coming up with glass shards and blood. Good Times! I looked to Kelly and said, “I’m going to my room to sleep for a half hour. Don’t bother me before then; I’m feeling stabby.” That was a good three hours.

Just in time to wake up, get dressed and go to The Aquarium for the after party. So exhausted still that I walked onto the beach and started salivating over the boulders. Couldn’t find anything harder than V-sandals. I need a bumper sticker that says “I pine for granite”. Walked around being social for the next three hours as people kept commenting on how haggard I looked. “No I’m not drunk, I’m just tired from spending all day drinking.” Which was true.

Aquarium ended at 2am and off to Bananas with a busload of Indians. If anyone is looking to develop a useful skill, come to an island and refuse to pay for anything. Haggling should be in the Olympics with (A) a quoted price, (B) the actual cost, and (C) the bottom line at which the vendor gets so pissed that he RAISES (A). These are the things I think about when getting out of cover fees.

Inside my friend Jester is dancing with the club as a whole and removing his shirt at random intervels to really hammer home that he is the best dancer in the place. Peed myself. Once again, the smallest most unassuming girls are the craziest dancers. I’m not sure who sees this comming, but it is never me. It’s Nana from Ghana’s birthday and she pays me the following compliment: “You’re the only white guy I’ll dance with.” I completely deny blushing.

I’m in bed at 5am and proceed to dream all night about water and food; the last time I ate was the last time I wrote about it: 10am.

Profound Ouch Throb.

So what did I learn? Bartending sucks–tip your bartender. You have no idea who has been waiting the longest, so it’s okay to yell at your bartender (just don’t be a jerk about it). Regardless of how many times I’ve been skipped, the second I got behind the bar I served girls twice as often as I did guys. People will look at your hands and wonder if you were in a knife fight. You will piss people off no matter what you do. And Ipecac is the most perfectly named thing ever.

P.S. if you google “Fascia Lata” you can call me a liar; your “nethers” are your external genitalia; Ferrari, LaTigra, Magnum and Blue Steel are Zoolander references; Rochelle made fun of me last time for spelling it ‘wheelbarrel’; “malate and aspartate” are part of a shuttle-sytem in the cell that makes me a huge nerd; V-sandals is a climbing joke; the “I’m not drunk, I’m just tired..” line is stolen from The Family Guy tv show to which I owe so much.

P.P.S Anyone that comes up with a movie that scores a 6 will get a wonderful suprise souvenir from the island of GND. My mother will get one because it’s her birthday soon and she thinks I’ll forget, which I may still.